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the markets do. we'll say this. president obama doesn't have to worry as much as the members of congress do because he's not on the ballot again. >> but if there's a second recession, doesn't that kill his second term? >> i hear republicans and democrats and obama want to come together on middle class rates. i think they'll make a deal in early january to extend some part. >> but are you saying this doesn't really hurt? if they go sometime next friday, nine days from now, will the market go down and come up or will it plunge? >> the republicans want to cut a deal before the cliff. >> i know that. but if this thing goes over the cliff, will there be term innocent damage to the economy like a new recession? >> republicans tell me they think if they can make a deal on rates early january the markets will fluctuate. >> i am hearing the markets have already reacted. >> for a couple days. couple days. >> yeah. >> i've heard another argument. a lot of people say, or at least people i've talked to, if they can't do it by the date, they can't count on anything gets done. it'll get worse every day. >
obama and congress will reach a deal in time but that number has dropped in the past week. president obama plans to cut short his family vacation in hawaii leaving for washington late tonight. yesterday, he spoke to troops at a marine corps base in hawaii. >> on behalf of michelle and myself and our whole family we do this every year. this is where i was born so we come back for the holidays but one of our favorite things is always coming to the base on christmas day and having a chance just to meet you, those of you who have families here and to say thank you for the extraordinary work and service that you guys do each and every day. >> chip reid is in washington with more on the budget talks. chip, good morning. >> good morning, rebecca. as you mentioned, the president plans to cut short his vacation in hawaii and fly back to the white house later tonight, arriving about noon thursday. here in washington there has been no communication between republicans and democrats about how to avoid going over the cliff. before the christmas break speaker john boehner
the economy back into recession, mr. obama wants congress to take the lead in getting the job done. the senate convenes later today and senate majority leader harry reid told members to be prepared to address fiscal cliff issues through the weekend. reid is working on his own plan to get lawmakers to come together before the end of the year deadline. that plan would likely include letting the bush tax cuts expire for households making more than $250,000 a year and short term spending cuts instead of the massive long-term cuts that would happen if there is no deal. after our wednesday conference call, house republican leaders issued a statement saying they were waiting for the democratic controlled senate. the house will take this action on whatever the senate can pass they said but the senate first must act. in a sign of public frustration over the lack of a deal the coffee giant starbucks is asking employees in approximately 120 washington area cafes to write the words "come together" on cups for drink orders. >> we just wanted to have a subtle message of co
into effect. today president obama called on congress to agree on a compromise plan to protect the middle class. >>> the woman who went to prison for murdering the scarsdale diet doctor in 1990 has herself died. jean harris was 89. she was the doctor's longtime lover. he developed the famous fad, the diet in the 1980s, and harris said she found him treated on her and tried to commit suicide in front of him. they wrestled over a gun and he was shot. >>> former president george h.w. bush is getting better. he is reportedly singing with doctors and nurses in the houston hospital where he is at, although he is still in the intensive care unit. the senior bush has been in the hospital now for more than a month, but his family says that they are confident that he'll be out or released soon. >>> a cancer diagnosis didn't stop one man. in fact, at 79, it is spurring him on to achieve new goal as a marathon runner. >>> plus, no more nudity in san francisco. at least not in public. it is one of the most outrageous lawsuits of the year. and of course our legal guy will weigh in. announcer ] what if
from going over the so-called fiscal cliff. they say if president obama and congress don't make a deal we will almost certainly see a recession. do you buy that, steven? >> the congressional budget office is a nonpartisan group that does this and says we will in fact have an immediate rescission. they say that we come out of a short, sharp recession stronger than we would be if we didn't go into that recession in the first place. we stop borrowing money from the future to prop us up now. we have the immediate problems but in the long term we are in gets shape. that's what they are grappling this. how do they best structure this to do the least amount of damage now but get us to the good economy in the future. >> reporter: if you look up a research paper from the president's own economist you'll find in the long run we are healthier, short run, yeah, it's painful. is that what motivates some of the republicans that, you know, what are called chuckle heads, but maybe in the end they are wisdom heads. >> that is certainly part of the motivation there. the other part of the motivation, and
between the white house, the senate, the congress moves to pennsylvania avenue. president obama meeting behind closed doors with house speaker boehner, senate majority leader harry reid and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell talking about doing something to keep more than trillion dollars in tax increases and cuts from taking effect next week. also joining that party today, america's happy warrior. vice president joe biden will be there. while some appear ready to compromise others are still ducking, dodging, trying to dump the blame elsewhere. >> we all have our ideas and in the senate, you're right. we probably another 40, 50, 60 of saying that we're ready to both raise revenues and control entitlements. when's the missing ingredient? it is presidential leadership. >> i think in the end we'll get a deal. the question is the timing. >> am hopeful there will be a deal that avoids the worst parts of the fiscal cliff, namely taxes going up on middle class people. >> it's pretty apparent that we are not going to do what we've been called to do. this is 112th congress. we have had two y
, but that's not stopping president obama from giving every member of congress a pay raise from as much as $6,000. joining us now is peter swietzer a research fellow at stanford university, hoover institution. good to see you, peter. >> hey, it's great to be out with me, thanks for having me. >> dave: is this a bit hypocritical talking about raising taxes for all americans if they don't get a deal done, yet, how do you go ahead and give congress a raise? >> that's a great question. you know, it beats me. there's been a pay freeze in effect since 2010 and obviously, they've done such a fantastic job between then and now that they deserve this pay increase, right? it makes no sense, it makes no sense in terms of the merits and the performance in washington has been terrible and it makes no sense in terms of the politics and the atmospherics, they're getting a pay raise before they fix the fiscal cliff? who gets a pay raise before they get the job done? it's a ridiculous notion and shows me how out of touch washington d.c. is with the rest of the country. >> dave: it's certainly not about merit.
90 hours to go until the fiscal cliff kicks in, president obama and top members of congress meet today at the white house, and the house will hold a rare session on sunday. but there are no signs that any proposals are taking shape that both sides can agree on. >>> and now for a look at what is trending today, our quick roundup of what has you talking online. every day thousands of people update social media sites like facebook and twitter when they get sick. now sickweather.com is scanning those sites to help predict outbreaks of illness like the flu, letting you take your ge germophobia. >>> well, bravo is giving us a sneak peek inside lindsay lohan's bedroom for an upcoming episode of "million dollar decorators." they agree that the mirrored bed frame has got to go. you can see the full episode january 1st on bravo. >>> miley cyrus' cover of dolly parton's j"joline" is going viral. she just released the sessions she did with her band over the summer. here's a listen. ♪ joline, joline, joline >> video was only posted this week, but it was shot before miley got her new distinc
unemployment benefits for one year. president obama said he would have preferred a grand bargain that solves all of washington's revenue and spending problems. >> with this congress, that was obviously a little too much to hope for at this time. it may be we can do it in stages. >> reporter: negotiations have been going on all day, lawmakers and aids moving back and forth between meeting rooms on what is normally a quiet new year's eve. the major sticking point now is spending. the president suggested lawmakers take action on deficit reduction in the next few months and that more tax revenue could be involved in those discussions. but republicans are furious at that possibility. >> i'm willing to support revenue to deal with this problem. the overall problem. but what i will not agree to is using revenue to replace spending reductions. >> reporter: even if the senate frawfs deal by midnight the house still has to pass the measure before the president can sign into it law. randall pinkston, cbs news, washington. >> even if it takes a few days to finish lawmakers say the cuts will be made retr
that cliff. president obama is in hawaii for christmas with his family. before he left he urged congress to adopt a stopgap measure to prevent taxes from rising on people who make less than 250,000 a year. he also asked for a plan to keep providing benefits to unemployed workers. house speaker john boehner is home in cincinnati. he failed to get members of his own party to support his plan b proposal for ending the crisis. speaker boehner says the stalemate and the failure of plan b is the democrats' fault. >> the president -- what the. has offered so far simply won't do anything to solve our spending problem and begin to address our nation's crippling debt. instead he wants more spending and more tax hikes that will hurt our economy. and he refuses to challenges the members of his party to deal honesty with the entitlement reform and the big issues facing our nation. that's why we find ourselves here today. >> the president is scheduled to return to washington wednesday. there's no word if any new talks are planned. >>> even if we go over the cliff, workers won't feel all of the tax inc
of congress will meet with president obama at the white house. it could be the last shot to avoid going over the so-called fiscal cliff. but is the meeting just for show or could we really truly be close to a deal? doug is live in washington with more details, what are we in for? >> to be a fly on the wall in this meeting. these are the players that will be there today. the president with congressional leaders from both parties to see if they can get something done. it may be substantive, it may be window dressing. >> any time you announce a meeting publicly in washington, it's usually for political theater purposes. nothing good ever comes from it. there is one thing you have to do in politics. if the president meets with a foreign leader, you want to make sure you know what's going to happen at the meeting. when the president calls congressional leaders to the white house, it's all political theater or they've got a deal. my bet is all political theater. >> kelly: well, we will see. >> congress thee receipticcally could get something done. we saw the congress work yesterday. the house is g
nature of the problem. host: mavericks'writes -- guest: actually not. mr. obama had a democratic congress when he came in, 60 votes in the senate, which , amount-- senator brown had won in massachusetts. but he started out with 60 and then it went down to 59 when senator kennedy and sadly died. i really admired senator kennedy as much as any man who ever served in the senate, even though we did not agree. mr. reagan had to deal with tip o'neill. that was one of the great events in washington politics because you had two extraordinarily capable politician opposing points of view. mr. reagan was poorly matched. mr. obama had nancy pelosi as speaker of the house. but hardly the same thing. host: from massachusetts on the line, democrat. caller: good morning. i have a comment and question. i am trying to find out, the situation you're in right now, why is everybody fighting about what we should do? i am gmt and i am broke every day. i'm down here with people that paid taxes and work hard every day. -- i am an emt. people don't understand that would ever happens with the fiscal cliff, people d
about congressional departures and do you will miss the most in congress. >> as president obama begins his second term of office, what is the most important issue he should consider for 2013? >> if you are in grade 6 test well, make a video message. >> it is the student can video congress -- contest. there is a grand prize of $5,000. deadline is january 8. for more information go to student can.org. >> the time i was 9-year-old, was handing out leaflets for robert kennedy and when i was 10, i made a decision and broke with the democratic party and went to work for john lindsay for mayor of new york but i would not work for him as a republican. i work -- i went down to the liberal party headquarters and i was handing out leaflets on a street corner in new york and some woman thought this was cute that this little boy was handing out leaflets and chest me why i made the case for john lindsay and got an early start on my political consulting career and made the case against his opponent as well. she said that is cute as she handed me a box of what looked to be pastry, a white box with str
we're not going to get what we think is right for our economy and our country. >> with congress coming back, the president will also reportedly cut short his holiday vacation in hawaii. democrats hope mr. obama will continue to fight for a complete agreement, not just a temporary patch. >> i definitely hope that he can and will continue to push for as big a deal as possible, but you've got to remember now, we're just a few days away. >> if no deal is reached, over 2 million americans will lose their jobless benefits and workers will see a 2% cut in their take home pay as social security payroll taxes go up january 1st. jennifer johnson, nbc news, washington. >> well, around this time of year, there is a big surprise that happens on the rockefeller center ice skating rink outside our nbc news world head quarters. it happens about half a dozen times a day every day. nbc's erica hill has the story. >> right outside our doors at rockefeller center, home to the country's most celebrated christmas tree, we often hear an plows th applause this time of year. and when we do, we know it m
soon. but six days before the fiscal cliff, president obama cutting short his christmas vacation on the off chance he and congress might be able to cut some kind of deal. he left. but brianna keilar is still there in honolulu. when's the president leaving and why does he really expect to avoid the cliff? >> reporter: i will be leaving as well when the president leaves, don. he is expected. he will be leaving tonight. that's local time. so he'll be traveling overnight and arriving back in the d.c. area late thursday morning. as you know, the senate reconvenes tomorrow. so he'll be going back as that is happening. we heard from him last week as he was heading out to hawaii. he said, see you next week. we had a thought that this was probably going to happen. he is officially now going back. he said last week, don, that he is still optimistic that something can get done. the other issue here, though, is you can imagine, how bad it would look if he go over the cliff and there's a lot of work to make sure that doesn't happen. he's here in hawaii on vacation. that would look terrible fo
in congress. 37% blame -- would blame president obama and 11% blame both. so there's a political reality to the fact that the gop is stuck between a rock and a hard place. they'll get blamed if it happens and they'll get blamed if they vote for anything that looks like a tax increase. >> listen, the republican party gets blamed if it's sunny outside. so i'm not really worried about that and neither should people be. but you bring up the point, this should not be above who suffers in the polls. this should be about fixing the united states of america and, you know what, people need to be willing to take a vote even if it means they don't come back. >> yeah, well that's the problem, right? you and i talked about this before. we're in constant campaign mode. a compromise would require that both parties, all parties involved actually pay some price, that it costs somebody something. what is the specific problem, though, on the republican side in terms of the lack of compromise? again, i want to show you the same poll that we did on december 17th and 18th asking about whether the republican p
does show that president obama is in the mid-50s when it comes to his polling ratings on how he's handling the fiscal cliff. republicans in congress are in the mid-20s. >> that's right, there's no question about that, tremont. obama has done a much better job of positioning himself to take advantage of the fiscal cliff. he has painted republicans is only caring about their millionaire and billionaire friends. taking hostage the people of america. you have steny hoyer saying that republicans want to take children hostage and threatened to shoot them. this is vilifying republicans and it has been incredibly effective. in the short term, absolutely, the president is set to take advantage of this. tax increases, massive tax reductions to the military. republicans really stand and the notion is appalling about who wins, but the republicans win because the economy is going to go out yet another fiscal cliff. george w. bush is not the president. obama is the president, he is not putting forth proposals to work with republicans. he will have to take ownership of this. they need to come
school students return to classes. and on friday congress meets in joint session to confirm barack obama as the official winner of the presidential election. and still on the subject of washington, here's norah o'donnell who will be filling in for bob scheiffer this morning on "face the nation." good morning, norah. >> will there be massive tax increases and steep spending cuts in 2013? we'll talk about the fiscal cliff to senator dick durbin and senator tom coburn on face the nation. >> osgood: next week here on sunday morning, a conversation with general stanley mcchrystal. and we catch up with actress laura durn. my doctor diagnosed it as fibromyalgia, thought to be the result of overactive nerves that cause chronic widespread pain. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. i learned lyrica can provide significant relief from fibromyalgia pain. and for some people, it can work in as early as the first week of treatment. so now i can do more of the things that i enjoy. lyrica is not for everyone. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doct
to leave for obama to have a hastily called friday evening press conference saying, you know what, congress, you have ten days, you go work it out. it's doable. >> it's been an interesting year. of course, we started off so well, in terms of expectations for economic growth. we had an election this year, too. i think that's another thing that is sort of the key. we hit europe again as we had the last two years previously. but this last quarter, i think there's been a lot more optimism, even with the fiscal cliff sitting there, as sort of this potential, real roadblock at the end of the year. perhaps even too much optimism some would say. when you speak to ceos, there's still a lack of confidence, i would argue on the part of many of them, that you would like to see more of. perhaps a reflection of their concerns about the fiscal crisis that may weigh on our tax spending policies. >> we'll start over the next week or so talking about performers for the year. top s&p performer is pulty, which says how people are viewing how people will view what's driving the economy in the coming year. bank
or grow the economy. there has been very little discussion about growth. congress did something great and president obama signed it. it was called the jobs act. it was about growth and a lot of growth through innovation. what it did is made easier forebitt entwhistles to raise money. they could crowd funds, go out to more people before having these commission regulations, they could do many other things they couldn't do under the present law. but it did require the security and exchange commission to issue some rules. it turns out those rules have still not been issued. it's been about a year now and they've been held up because the chairman of the sec, chairwoman, shapiro, no relation to me, decided to sit on them because she was concerned about her legacy, according to some e-mails. >> dave: here is what patrick mchenry, congressman said about all of this. quote, a direct result of pressure from one special interest group and the personal agenda of the chairman. where does this go from here? has it just been permanently shelfed? >> no. it can't be permanently shelfed because there i
almost 90% of votes from whites, and president obama won over 40% from nonwhites. look at the states on issues like gay marriage or the obama health care plan. blue and red states leading you in very different directions. and you get to congress. the vast majority of leaders are voted in by those who are divided. have you two cohessive coalitions. it's harder to bridge them what is the alternative? we're all here, none of us are going away. we'll find ways to work together or find more self-inflicted wounds like the fiscal cliff. >> the idea, republicans and this is the idea that has been floated, will let us go off the cliff sor they or certain members won't have to raise taxes. >> they will cut taxes retroactive retroactively. >> seems like a bad way to go. >> look, this was a machine built to encourage compromise. and it may get easier for some republicans to come back in january if we go over the cliff. the reason, of course, all the bush tax cuts expire with the cliff, when you come back, you would only be voting to cut taxes on some force of the public, up to a certain income l
we expect in terms of movement in this area for the second term of president obama? >> i think we still have split control of congress said there is a limit to what he can do on his own. he will try to use the regulatory process and executive authority like he did to do what he can, but he can't appropriate money. i think there are some things that members of congress will agree with. disclosure does not cost money, were very little money, it is likely to be favored by both sides. the reauthorization of the higher education act. it might not happen on time, if we look at the last authorization that was supposed to happen in 2003, they had 13 extension bills. i hope it doesn't take that long this time around. there will be a lot of proposals for major changes. then by redesign the student loan programs. they might redesign the grant programs. it is worth commenting on. >> i know that there is certainly aware of it. they have been hearing about this problem, that is one thing that does not require congressional action. the consumer financial protection bureau is the new game in town
with these talks says that president obama is not going to be offering anything new during this afternoon's meeting. he's essentially going to be saying what he said at the white house last friday when he called on congress to put forth a package that would extend bush era tax cuts for those making $250,000 or less, extend unemployment insurance benefits, as well as stave off some of those deep spending cuts that are set to go into effect. the president is going to make the argument that he believes this can pass through both houses, but, of course, there is a big question mark over that. i have been speaking with republican aides on the hill who say house republicans are really waiting to see what the senate does at this juncture before they weigh in on anything that the president might say during today's meeting. but, of course, we will have to wait and see what actually happens. we're hoping the congressional leaders will talk to us and we'll have more information about what happened. >> it seems the political dynamics essentially in this meeting are -- he's not putting anything new on the table
morning. i would like to make a general comment about the congress and the senate. somehow they have gotten off track for the american people. they need to bring jobs back to the united states. president obama promised in his campaign to lower the corporate tax rate, which i believe would bring some corporations back to set up their factories of in america and said of china, india, brazil. it just seems like congress and our leaders in general are trying to bring america down equal to the other nations of the world. i believe it is all headed for a one world government. they have to knock america down before they can get us equal with the other countries in the world. we are building the other countries up. it's a cinch to me like our leaders reject i agree with the last caller, there should be term limits. after they are in there so long, their interest is not in helping america. it seems to me like they are positioning for money in their own pockets or they become lobbyists. this secreted a law that they should not be able to become lobbyists for a few years sucker they leave congr
congress, our administrative offices, the white house, to try and get this straightened out. we still are hopeful that president obama could intervene. he could talk with president putin and say, we have our differences, let's work this out for the benefit of the children and the families involved. and there's been a 20-year history of russia and united states working cooperatively to make homes available for these children. >> you just mentioned president obama. is there any chance you see this being worked out to where it doesn't get to this point, because now as you just mentioned, there are a lot of children who are waiting as we speak to be adopted? >> well, we have organized a write-in to members of congress, as well as to the white house, asking them to intervene. we have not heard anything from them. but we are hopeful that our administration will take this on and approach russia on this issue, and say let's do what's in the best interest of children and set aside our political differences. >> all right. we really do hope that gets worked out for the best interest of the child
in making a deal to avert across the board tax hikes for 90% of american households. president obama on his way back to washington right now but not all the lawmakers are there and if congress and the president do not reach a compromise before january 1st many analysts say the economy will slide back into a recession. gregg: mike emanuel is live on capitol hill. mike, any indication of the president's next move? >> reporter: well, gregg, last time we heard the president talk about the this matter he said he was calling on congressional leaders to essentially make sure taxes do not go up on middle class americans. presumably that would be a package that continues the bush tax cuts for those making up to $250,000. he would also like to continue emergency unemployment benefits for two million americans. and beyond that, details are kind of murky at this point. so we await the president to get back to washington. we know that the senate will be back in session today. we know there have been some conversations back and forth but at this point no indication that steps have moved forward closer to
it is not all that rare. kelly? kelly: jamie, thanks. right now president obama is cutting his vacation short to head back to washington and jump-start the fiscal cliff negotiations with congress. talks fell apart before christmas. the deadline now is just days away and there is no deal in sight to avoid the tax hikes and spending cuts set to go into effect january 1st. our juan williams is a fox news political analyst and he joins us today and very quickly, juan, merry christmas to you. >> merry christmas, kelly. kelly: this is daunting task facing congress to avert the so-called fiscal cliff that will set into motion more than $600 billion in drastic and draconian allic tax hikes and spending cuts. that will cause a lot of pain for all americans and does congress have enough time to act on this? >> they do. you know it will be very close and it may in fact go beyond the deadline per se although people are thinking at the moment it is possible to get something done by the end of this week. the key here, kelly, is the senate. we have been so focused on the house, speaker boehner, plan. about,
continue between congress and the white house. the house returns tomorrow at noon eastern. we will have coverage here on c- span. president obama spoke about the afternoon,ff this ev but in the agreement will not happen before tomorrow. his remarks are 10 minutes. >> happy new year to you. hello, everybody. thank you. please, everybody, have a seat. good afternoon, everybody. welcome to the white house. i realize that the last thing you want to hear on new year's eve is another speech from me. but i do need to talk about progress that is being made in congress today. for the last few days, leaders of both parties have been working on an agreement that will prevent the middle-class tax hikes hitting 90% of all americans starting tomorrow. preventing that tax hike has been my top priority. it is the last thing that folks like who are appear on this stage can afford right now, to pay an extra $2,000 in taxes. the middle class taxes cannot afford it -- middle-class families cannot afford it, and our economy cannot afford it. today it appears that an agreement to prevent this new year's tax
's my tide, what's yours? >>> 17 minutes past the hour now. president obama says he's optimistic senate leaders can avoid the fiscal cliff with just three days to go. if no agreement is reached the president says he's urge congress to hold up or down votes on a package that prevents tax hikes on the middle class and extends unemployment insurance. joining me now, congressional correspondent for the national journal, chris fragts and congressional reporter for the "washington post" ed o'keefe. chris let me start with you this time. we're talking about a deal could be reached. the president modestly optimistic. i'm hearing that word a little bit thrown around this morning and this afternoon, optimistic. so what does that deal look like now? >> well, t.j., i thought maybe your butmper musing coming back in shoulding final countdown. just a few days left and the senate is at work. a lot of optimism out there and a lot of happy talk coming out of friday's white house meeting. but the sides still remain pretty far apart. reid and mcconnell on who is rich. what's the definition of wealthy. is
they are voting at state level and local level, you will get a different picture. we have a republican congress, a pretty conservative republican congress. people were comfortable voting for those folks. we look at governors, we have 30 republican governors now. so, many of the same people split their vote. they went for barack obama on the national level and when four republicans on local level. it is always more complicated. host: what is the future been like for the republican party? guest: we have no future. haven't you heard? we are done and finished. host: how do they deal on what seal -- guest: do have to argue for your point of view. i do not think we made a good argument at a national level. again, the argument was made effectively at the state level. there are 30 republican governors. that is a pretty big majority. there are a group -- majority of republicans in the house. at the national level, people can talk about whether the messenger was week, whether mitt romney was a great candidate and not. i did not think very many people think it was a great candidate. pit bull think he was
this to be possible. >> sequestration is designed to be painful. a penalty congress imposed on itself last year when the super economy failed to find $1.2 trillion of cuts to live w half are those are directed at the pentagon but president obama said today said the cuts can be offset by raising taxes on the rich. >> we have raised revenue by the wealthy paying a little bit more, that would be sufficient to turn off what's called the sequester, the automatic spending cuts and also have a better outcome for our economy long term. >> senator graham thinks it's possible to find $600 billion in cuts elsewhere to spare the defense department for the next decade but a bipartisan agreement probably can't be reached until february or march. >> thank you. >>> joining us now more on this, the military cuts, jack keene, retired 4 star general. thank you for being with us tonight. >> glad to be here. >> how do you get the job done of protecting the country with fewer resources? >> well, it becomes difficult. we've already had a $480 billion cut that's taken place in the defense department. most experts who look
on the new income in congress. it's interesting that we have the same with k. bailey hutchinson. what's gotten her is fleethat t will go home and obama will introduce his own package and they have nothing to do but accept it. or they get blamed for everything. >> can you recall a time in your life and your politics, a couple of years at least, a comparable level of incompetence in washington. >> the last four years. i spent some of the time over the holidays for my since reading about this. my overall reaction is groundhog day. it's the same issues. some of the same players and the same questions of spending and entitlements and taxation and debt ceiling. nothing has changed. what's depressing to me is we had four years or longer to wrestle with these issues and there is virtually no signs of progress. we have two more self-imposed ceilings. a u.s. government that sticks a gun to its head, but says we don't trust ourselves any more like normal people. even presidential commissions don't work. what we have to do is give ourselves artificial deadlines and bring ourselves to the precipic
is trying to cram through a scaled back version of the obama cliff plan from almost week. the house is still out. after the gop went into recess last week after the gop didn't have enough support to pass its own plan "b." congress has very little time, though, five days to be exact to come up with some kind of a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. it may already be too late with the way things work on capitol hill. let's bring in jonathan allen, the senior washington kpon for politico. jonathan, let's get to that. i think if everything lines up they could possibly get a deal signed from the fiscal cliff but when does that ever happen? >> yes, i think the problem, drew, there isn't that much time when congress has a consensus they can move quickly but there's no indication of that right now. all of the players seem locked into their strategies. for folks familiar with economic theory, this is a nash equilibrium. they believe given what the other folks are doing their pursuing their optimal path and that path seems to be leading us toward that fiscal cliff. i think most folks in washington expect
? ♪ ♪ na na na na na na na na ♪ and everybody go uh! >>> we told you last hour president obama is spending his last few hours in hawaii before returng early to washington. he's expected to arrive tomorrow, just five days ahead of the fiscal cliff, which includes an across the board tax hike that congress has tried but failed to undo. cnn's dana bash is with us from washington, our senior congressional correspondent. we spoke last hour. you told us that hour speaker john boehner was to convene this conference call to decide whether or not to call the house back into session. we know the senate is supposed to convene, but nothing can, of course, take place until the house is in session as well. do we know the results of that conference call? will boehner reconvene the house? >> reporter: i'm told by a source familiar with the call, which just happened within last hour, as you said, that no decision was made on the schedule or timing for the house. as we talked about an hour ago, the leaders in the house have promised the members that they won't be called back without 48 hours notice. so at t
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